eLearning Blog

By Chris Karel published August 8, 2017

How do you scout locations for a business video shoot?

Scout locations for your next corporate video shoot with these eight Pro-Tips, especially if you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner. Searching for the right place to record video is vital to a successful production. Even though Scout Locations is #11 on my pre-production checklist, it’s just as valuable as the other items and should not be overlooked in the interest of time or budget. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published August 1, 2017

Making a Business Video: 5 Questions – 5 Answers – 5 Pro-Tips

Over the past 20 weeks, I’ve focused on answering questions related to corporate or business video. In each post, I try to provide professional advice for marketing managers, training professionals, and business owners. My goal each week is to be your go-to knowledge source for corporate and business video production. Every ten weeks, I create an index of the previous posts. If you are a CRAFT subscriber, consider this an index to weeks 11 through 20.   Continue reading

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Do you need to make a corporate video on a budget?

By Chris Karel published July 18, 2017

Do you need to make a corporate video on a budget?

While sitting in Nano Brew on West 25th Street, sipping a Gose the Gosarian, a producer friend of mine said, “We wasted so much time today. You should write a blog that tells people how to get the most out of us.”

“Mmmm. Mr. Gosarian is delicious.” I said out loud. Continue reading

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ProTips for B2B Voice Actors

By Chris Karel published July 11, 2017

Pro-Tips for B2B Voice Actors

If you are a voice actor looking for B2B jobs, this post offers you an insider’s perspective on creating a professional B2B demo that will reach the client. If you are a marketing or training professional, consider these Pro-Tips as background information to aid you in the process of choosing the “right” voice for your upcoming video or training course. Continue reading

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Picture: Can I make ONE video for THREE target audiences?

By Chris Karel published July 4, 2017

Can I make a video that reaches three target audiences?

If you are in a marketing or training role, have you ever had a conversation like this?

Manager: “We need a video that will appeal to everyone (employees, customers, and shareholders).”

You: “OK. Have you considered making three videos that target each of those audiences?”

Manager: “Yes, but we only have the budget for one video.” Continue reading

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8 Authentic Tips for New eLearning Professionals

By Meagan Lawton published May 10, 2017

When I started working at Cinécraft, I was totally new to eLearning. I had no experience writing courses or using eLearning-specific development tools. However, I had a background in multimedia and writing, and a strong desire to learn, so I knew I could be successful. Now, a year later, I can build courses with both Storyline and Captivate, and I’m thriving as an instructional designer. Continue reading

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By Kim Lindsey published March 22, 2017

Now Is The Time For You To Know The Truth About Notepad

Notepad is our friend

… is one of my professional mottos. In 16+ years as a writer, I’ve consistently promoted this handy little tool  (free with Windows!). Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published March 21, 2017

Wardrobe? What should I wear on camera?

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

“Wardrobe” is a performing arts term that refers to costumes, shoes, undergarments, hats, and personal props such as gloves, jewelry, etc. (wiki). In our business video production world, we are generally talking about the clothing that you wear on camera. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published March 14, 2017

How do I handle the narrator? Can I narrate?

If you are a marketing manager, training professional or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

I always suggest using professional voice actors, also known as voice talent, voiceover artists, or VO talent. A seasoned pro brings years of practice and mastery that leads to a smooth, articulate recording that will elevate the perception of your brand. Continue reading

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Top five things that separate amateur from professional video

By Chris Karel published February 28, 2017

Top five things that separate amateur from professional video

If you are a marketing manager, training professional or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

Gear, script, audio, lighting, and distribution are the top five things that determine the level of professionalism in a video product. Sometimes a homemade cell phone video can get Continue reading

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101: Don't Leave the Learner Behind

By Tiffany Lombardo published October 20, 2016

It’s important to take a step back and think about the learner. Most learners are busy, not just at work but in their personal lives as well.  Common sense tells us they don’t have much room in their brain to store information that is not directly relevant to their lives or jobs. When we ask them to take a training course, it needs to be engaging and easily connect key concepts to their everyday work.  Unfortunately, training often becomes a one size fits all solution that does not take the unique needs of learners into account.

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Save the Learners! Build an Open and Shut Serious Game Strategy

By Dan Keckan published March 11, 2016

(This article was published in the March, 2016 issue of Training Industry Magazine.)

Have you ever sat in front of an eLearning course that you spent 200-250 hours designing and developing and thought learners are going to love this course? They are going to love it so much, they will be motivated to take it. They are going to stick with it till the end and feel compelled to take it again as the Flow Theory suggests! If your answer is yes, then you have probably already incorporated a successful serious game strategy. If your answer is no then keep reading.

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By Meagan Lawton published August 26, 2015

“The Perfect Basket”

Everyone’s heard the old saying that you should never put all of your eggs in one basket. Whether you have relationship eggs, money eggs or real eggs, you want to put them in different places to minimize your risk of losing all of them at the same time.

As a non-risk-taker, this makes sense to me, and I usually follow this advice. However, this past spring I didn’t, and I ended up getting pied in the face, sitting in a cell block, and collecting brains.

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By Dan Keckan published December 30, 2014

When designing a custom eLearning course, you know that getting the right information is critical. But Subject Matter Expert (SME) buy-in is even more critical to your training’s success – and in the end, key to whether or not you will have a happy and repeat customer in your portfolio.

When we encounter a Subject Matter Expert who isn’t engaged in the process, our first impulse is to work around the issue – and I could point you to many articles telling you how to do that. But let’s step back and look at the situation using practical psychology. When you work through the conflict instead of around it, you hone your people skills, and you just may win over your Subject Matter Expert and “get the information anyway.”

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101: What type of video should I put in my eLearning?

By Dan Keckan published August 8, 2014

Begin with this premise:

Video is one of many assets available to instructional designers.

By 2018, per Cisco Systems, 84% of internet traffic will be video content. What does this mean for training professionals? We need to establish a training video lexicon. It is a proven fact that a firm grasp of word meanings is a strong predictor of successful writing. That being said, designers and clients that share a common language will be more effective and efficient in satisfying business objectives. Furthermore, choosing the type of videos for your eLearning course should be based on your learning objectives.

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301: Branchtrack Review: Easily Storyboard Simulations

By Dan Keckan published July 8, 2014

Three months ago, I dove into Branchtrack and whipped together a first aid simulation in about two and half hours. “Wow!” I thought, “This is great. Thank you to Cathy Moore for the suggestion!”

Before moving on with the story, here’s a hi-level description of the product: Branchtrack is a superfast way to author, design and deliver branched simulations. They believe in “learning by doing, trying, playing and failing. (They) believe that serious can be fun and easy.” I learned about the tool while studying with Cathy Moore in her Scenario design workshop. Back to the wow.

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201: Muddling through Moodle

By Dan Keckan published June 23, 2014

There is an allure to Moodle’s value proposition. What’s not to like about FREE?!

For a company considering an LMS solution, spending $100,000 annually can cause sticker shock. In return, the organization receives an untried delivery channel to host, track, and report on the training content delivered to employees, distribution channels, and customers. Alternatively, many Software as a Service (SAS) LMS solutions have a cost-per-registered user model that seems affordable when you have a limited number of users, but can ramp up to be a very pricey annual expense if you have a large user base.

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201: The Mobile Learning War is Heating Up - Review

By Dan Keckan published June 16, 2014

It’s no secret that mobile learning is a hot topic at every training conference we attend, blog article we read and webcast we watch.  You would think that with so much customer demand, authoring tool companies would be on top of this trend.  However, so far, it’s led to some painful learning experiences.

For the past few years Lectora, Captivate and Articulate have advertised that their products are compatible with mobile devices.  And those advertisements are true, they are compatible.  However, do they create engaging, performance-driven learning experiences?  I think most of the people reading this would agree when I say, “No.”  Furthermore, the use of the term mobile devices is used way too loosely. Smartphones may be fine for performance support, but their screens are too small to effectively display traditional eLearning courses. So for sake of this article, we will consider our experiences with the iPad.

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301: How Does HTML5 Fit in the eLearning World?

By Dan Keckan published September 13, 2012

If you’ve recently had a discussion about developing mobile learning for your customer the conversation of HTML5 has probably come up.  So, what exactly is HTML5?

The simple answer is, HTML5 is the newest version of HTML.  For those of you who aren’t aware, HTML makes up most of the web content and framework on the internet today.

The more complex answer is HTML5 has the potential to include new and improved functionality within web browsers, without the need for plugins, while incorporating the newest versions of JavaScript (JS) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

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201: When is it the Right Time to Marry eLearning and Video?

By Dan Keckan published August 28, 2012

When is it the right time to marry eLearning and video? We get this question all the time from clients. As technology has advanced and internet bandwidth has increased, training professionals are eager to enhance their offerings with more engaging, multimedia rich content.

So when is the right time to use video in your eLearning projects?  Simply put, when you want your audience to learn a particular behavior, otherwise known as behavioral modeling.  And, when you use it in an eLearning course it can be quite effective.

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By Dan Keckan published

Are you a training department of one?  Have you created training that fell short of the client’s expectations?  Are you often going outside the scope or over budget? Here are 5 questions to ask a prospective client in one of your company’s line of business when they come to you with the desire for a custom eLearning course.  Hopefully these time-savers will keep you on track to success! Continue reading

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By Dan Keckan published

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are vital to the success of any learning experience. SMEs provide a keen sense of the way employees work and the knowledge and skills employees must have in order to do the work.

It is the responsibility of the Instructional Designer (ID) to provide the information in a format that promotes learning and retention. It is the responsibility of the SME to ensure the message is clear and correct.  The challenge comes in keeping the SME within the boundaries of the budget and timeline.

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